So, I have just finished reading Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. I heard many rumours about the book before, saw girls in awe of it, guys repulsed by it. After actually reading the book like 11 years after it came out, I am going to answer 7 questions about it as a review. (I am straight, btw)
A bit about me so you have an idea of who is behind this: I am part British (West Country) and part American (Washington and formerly Alaska), I am interested in music, languages, travel, Switzerland, religion, physical activities as soon as I recover from an illness, eating healthy, I am qualified as a piano teacher, I cook for myself, I am an introvert and extrovert at the same time, I come out as ENTJ, Commander. I like short girls with bright blue eyes and long hair. :)
1. Did You Like It?
Yes, I did. It was definitely not the best book I have read but it held my attention. The beginning was entertaining, the middle was awkward, and the end was exciting. I will be reading the next one. I guess I can kind of say that I am a fan...
2. Why Do You Think Girls Loved It And Guys Hated It?
Well, the setting was very comfortable. It was romantic, which most girls will go for. Edward is I guess what most girls want for a boyfriend, some may not take to his pessimism or refinement, but they of course would want to read a book about an inhuman boyfriend that looks amazing, is super strong, and has a thirst for his girlfriend's blood that many girls will correctly interpret as a metaphor for sexual desire. Guys do not like it because of the girliness of lots of it and, let's be honest, guys usually do not voluntarily read books in which the main character is a girl. I nearly stopped reading it at a few points because it got too mushy and over the top. Like the meadow bit. That was the worst. I heard a guy say that he did not make it past the first two pages, I did not find anything wrong there. Guys of course are not going to approve of their girlfriends sopping over this fictitious character who possesses super powers that they don't have. I think most guys though are glad Edward does not exist. In case you have not noticed, guys don't like reading/hearing about how much better some other guy is than them. Me included.Twilight is exactly that so please be understanding.
3. What Did You Dislike About It?
Bella seemed especially at the beginning, a shallow brat. She judged many people at her school. (even though a lot of them ere kind of annoying) I don't think it is healthy to condemn friendliness, of course, there is too friendly and if someone is not for you then it can be awkward and painful trying to let them know. I think the author was over the top with how much she went on about Edward's appearance. It was excessive. It suggests that Bella only liked him because of his looks. This is not a healthy message to be sending out to people, there are already enough issues with this. I heard people say that the book was dirty and pornographic, I disagree.
Though a lot of the emotions were described, and many attractive qualities obsessed over, in perhaps a way that led toward the sensual it was not really erotic in nature, I would say girls could read it for unwholesome reasons, but I think if so, it is pretty poor, pathetic material. If the romantic parts were put in a film (yes, I know they were) then it would be no different to say, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The only other issue was the obvious sex/blood vampire metaphor. Oh... and about what she had to do to her dad at the end. That was depressing. I hoped she would get closer to him. Maybe in the next book. Other than that, there was a lot of girly mush which, as a guy, please accept that that is not going to be my thing at all and I must admit, there was a faint air of something not quite right.
4. What Did You Like About It?
The ending was exciting. The whole hunt thing. I found the way the book was written soothing and easy to follow, I really liked the setting and it made me laugh a bit about the Cullen family because my family too, are from Washington state, formerly Alaska. We are not so "anti-cold-and-darkness" as other people and my dad is British. I liked how Bella did have a better relationship with her dad in the follow up to what she had to do. I thought Alice was a sweet character, I thought Carlisle's story had a very good message. If you don't like who you are, or who you are becoming, or how others perceive you, you can change and be a good person. Carlisle did not sink into permanent depression (though he tried committing suicide), he fought his evil desires and made himself into a good, wholesome, happy person. We can all learn from that.
Though the constant description of Edward was nauseating and the obvious envy that most of us are not going to dazzle a girl like that, he was also a very wholesome character. His character was a refreshing change from the usual dumb, caveman, jock, sex crazy type. He encourages girls to look for guys who actually love them, are willing to protect them, listen and who can be fit and smart. When I was in Vienna, there was this Münchener that joked that Americans were either one or the other. Well, they are being told that in media. The good qualities in Edward can easily be emulated.The relationship did not glorify feminism and kick out gender roles (sorry guys, I believe in those), it put girls in a mindset to accept these.
Though the balance was extreme and maybe not complimentary to women (even though he was inhuman), it still was a good way of putting things in the right direction. Jacob was a breath of fresh, more human air. (yes, I know he is a werewolf) He was nice, normal, friendly. Again, not too far off the path. He had an air of kind innocence. Again, he was totally like normal, he was not like a pro-feminist push-over, and he kind of made up for some of Bella's judgements in the beginning. I don't care who did him in the movie, it was nice to have a guy in the mix that Bella liked without all this mushy-glorification. I liked how Meyer gave the Native Americans a shout out. (yes, I am part native as well) In the end, the guys were not encouraging girls to go for weirdo jerks. Overall, I found it highly entertaining. Like eating a piece of cake, it is not wonderful for you, it is not going to harm you, but not as good as healthy meat, salad, and potatoes.
5. What Do You Think Of Girls That Love It?
That would be a put off if she was obsessed. I call owning the books and having read them the maximum. I would not call it something healthy to obsess over.
6. What Do You Say To Guys About It?
I am not going to tell you to read it, don't worry. If you are ever like sick in bed and want something interesting then maybe. Just ignore the girls that go on and on, they are just girls. I don't think it is quite correct for you to say that the books are the worst and that there is nothing good about them. I do have reason to believe that the films are probably a way more worthy target for your displeasure. Please note I entirely separate the book and the film.
7. Out Of Interest, Why Did You Read It.
In short, my cousin showed my family Pirates of the Caribbean, we found it hugely fun and wanted to see the second one. I had a bit of a pow-wow with a family member and left the house two mornings after and went to this tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, book/music/film store on stilts that did not even have someone attending it to look for the movie. It was not there, I heard all these children gather around outside for this huge Easter egg hunt around the estate and decided to stay inside. I saw the book, thought, "Why not? There has to be something good in it, and anyway, it is always useful the find out what girls are up to." I sat down, read, and decided that I wanted to finish it over time. All along, there were kids screaming outside and some coming inside and singing Christmas carols at Easter. Haha.
8. Favourite Part?
I don't know. I thought Emmett and Bella were funny.
So there you have it. I am converted. :D